Education: Donor Profile
Annual Report - 2006-2007
Nothing But Good Feelings
By Sarah Watson
Julie and William Kyte of Kansas City hope to help physicians and scientists develop more reconstructive options for cancer patients through a $5 million gift to the Department of Plastic Surgery at M. D. Anderson.
Julie Kyte was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2006, following a routine annual mammogram. After the initial shock, she and her husband began an extensive search for the best cancer care and expertise.
“We had known of M. D. Anderson. For peace of mind, we agreed that I needed to go to Houston before deciding on any treatment,” says Kyte, whose M. D. Anderson team included Surgeon Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D.; Plastic Surgery Clinic Director David W. Chang, M.D.; and Breast Medical Oncologist Daniel Booser, M.D.
“Once at M. D. Anderson, we quickly recognized the science, knowledge, experience and professionalism that exemplify this institution,” she says. “These elements, along with the teamwork that goes into each patient’s care, make M. D. Anderson a special place.”
The Kytes are aware of the limited funding sources for plastic surgery research. They also have a firsthand understanding of how important reconstructive surgery is to the patient’s physical and emotional recovery.
The couple’s donation will allow M. D. Anderson’s two plastic surgery clinics to unite in one location and will help fund research in tissue engineering and other areas. It also will provide professional and patient education, and will support two visiting professors each year.
“Professional collaboration is a key element to progress in reconstructive surgery as well as in fighting cancer,” William Kyte says. “We like the fact that physicians and scientists at M. D. Anderson actively share and exchange research with other institutions.”
Julie Kyte opted for immediate reconstruction following her mastectomy in early January 2007. A week later she received the best news — no further treatment was needed.
“We have such positive feelings about the patient care and reconstructive options at M. D. Anderson,” she says. “Discovering the cancer before it became invasive and knowing to go to M. D. Anderson made being ‘cured’ possible.”